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masahiro tanakaThis weekend was the Chicago Cubs’ opportunity to shine as the team for Masahiro Tanaka in the rumor world. Before them, it was the Mariners. And then the Yankees. And then the Dodgers.

The Cubs got their 15 minutes, and now it’s back to reality …

  • Writing for the New York Times, David Waldstein hears from an official with an NL team involved in the bidding (Cubs? Dodgers? Diamondbacks?) that his team is expecting that the Yankees will ultimately be the Yankees, and outbid everyone else. Disinformation? Truth? I’ve said all along that, absent a hard-and-fast desire to stay under the $189 million luxury tax cap, it is hard to believe the Yankees would allow Tanaka to sign with another team because that team is offering him more money. The Yankees need him badly. They have plenty of money. They clearly have the desire to get him. Again: unless $189 million is a hard rule, there’s little reason to believe money is going to be the reason Tanaka doesn’t sign with the Yankees (barring the kind of obscene, reckless offer even the Yankees wouldn’t make). It will have to take something else to get him – the kind of personal idiosyncrasies we can’t possibly know for certain (geography, challenge, being “the man”, etc.). Well, something else, and also making sure the financial offer is right there with the Yankees.
  • As for all of that big-time spending stuff as it applies to the Dodgers, here’s where I land: I, of course, think they can do it, too. I’m just not convinced they’re going to be quite as willing to go nuts (like the Yankees and Cubs, for example), given the Clayton Kershaw extension, and given the presence of Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu in the rotation already. I’m not saying they won’t do it – you never count out SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS – but I just don’t see it as quite as likely.
  • Jon Morosi writes about the Cubs as Tanaka contenders, acknowledging that the Cubs really want him, but struggling to come up with good reasons he’ll actually choose them.
  • Some bonus Tanaka GIF’ing and scouting from Baseball America.
  • It’s impossible to sort fact from fiction in anything related to Tanaka, but I think it’s interesting to consider how it all could be playing out behind the scenes if the things that we believe to be true are actually true. Imagine that the Cubs are the high bidder, primarily because they know they have to be the high bidder to have any chance of overcoming the geographical and competitive lures of Los Angeles and New York. Until you’re told that Tanaka is actually going to accept the Cubs’ deal, there is no incentive for you – the Yankees or the Dodgers – to match the Cubs’ offer. They can rely on the geography/competitive stuff to keep their offer down until the last minute when they know precisely how high they have to come to get a deal done. So, in that way, it makes sense that the Cubs would be the “leader” in the bidding, maybe right up until a deal has to be completed in a couple days. Then, the preferred team(s) swoop(s) in, ups their offer just enough, and closes on Tanaka (after his agent returns to the Cubs, explaining that they can get the money they need from a preferred team, and the only way the Cubs can get him now is if they make an obscene, reckless offer). It’s not hard to imagine things playing out this way, as unhappy as it may make you.
  • tobias

    If Tanaka signs with another team, cue the comments about how the Cubs are cheap. As much as I would love the Cubs to sign Tanaka, anything north of 6/220 including the posting fee is too much.

    • Isaac

      It is obscene to think that anything even remotely approaching $33m AAV is acceptable. Absolutely zero chance he get’s $200,000,000, and even less chance that is spread over only six years.

    • blublud

      6/220 is absolutely stupid. The best pitcher in baseball just signed for 7/215 and you want to spend 220 mil over 6 for Tanaka. Anymore of 6/120 including the post fee is to much for me. He will get more and according to the Reports I could live with 7/160. It that’s not enough to get him, sayonara.

    • Rebuilding

      Pretty sure he meant 6/120

    • DocPeterWimsey

      What it will really cue are the conspiracy-theory posts about how the Cubs were only trying to look like they were trying!

  • roz

    inb4 Blackhawk and VOR tell us how Tanaka is going to the Yankees and the Dodgers and the Cubs never had a shot.

    • roz

      Should obviously say “or” not “and.” Although the way those 2 have been commenting the past few weeks, I’m sure they could spin it where the Yankees and the Dodgers could share Tanaka.

    • jp3

      IN also

  • BenW

    Great thoughts Brett. Makes sense, as much as I don’t want to hear it.

    I’ll still hold out hope though. Each dollar the Yankees offer will cost them more than a dollar, and while that hasn’t stopped them in the past, hopefully they at least think about it.

    I still don’t think the Yankees are a contender, even with Tanaka. With him, they are probably still 3rd in the division, behind the Red Sox and Rays (their pitching is beyond crazy). They are extremely old, with no depth. Hopefully Tanaka can see that, and at least consider Chicago.

    If the Dodgers decide to really be involved, then I do think the race is over. They have an above average team, a good location, and a better division to compete in.

    • kj

      BenW

      I’m with you, I’m going to hold out hope that the Cubs are able to land Tanaka. If the Yankees are willing to go as high as 200 mil on Tanaka simply because they are the “Yankees” then I have a hard time believing they will be competitive in 2014. The Yankees still need starting pitching, relief pitchers, and a true 3rd basemen. With all this said we haven’t even talked about SS. Jeter’s best days are behind him and now its time for the Yankees to be looking at re-tooling. Tanaka will see this and understand that the Yankees are old and he will want to be the man. With the Yankees starting rotation as is, Tanaka is a number 3 and I know he would want to be number 1. With all this said I truly believe the Cubs will land Tanaka.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Even with Tanaka, I see the Yanks as struggling to play 0.500 next year. They are basicAlly like the 2011 Cubs but with a couple of patches that probably won’t make up for the loses and the declines.

        • Edwin

          Fangraphs currently projects the Yankees as an 82-80 team. If they add Tanaka, that would probably push them up to the 84 win level. They’re not going to be great, but I think they’ll be a .500 or better team this year, so at least they’ll have a chance.

    • salesguy

      I think even calling the Yankees “competitive” at this point is a stretch, you’ve got the core of that team set up for a load of catastrophic injuries. Any time you have a starting point, or captain of your team closing in on 40, and an aging roster, calling them a .500 team is absurd. Fangraphs is predicting the Yankees at or slightly above .500 squad, with everyone healthy for a 162 game schedule, and that is simply not going to happen. If this were any other baseball team, the national media would be questioning that prediction, and I think that no one in the media is taking an honest look at the current Yankees squad, but instead living on what they were in the past. Gravity is going to catch up to the Yankees eventually, and I think that Tanaka gets that, because if money were the only object, Tanaka would be a Yankee by now.

  • Fishin Phil

    Cue The Who…. “We won’t get used again!”

  • shlenny

    I think the Dodgers are out simply because they do need him at this point. It will come down to the Yanks and the Cubs, and I think you can make the argument that a.) the Cubs and the Yanks have very similar probabilities of making the playoffs this year and b.) over the next 7 years the Cubs may actually win more games on the backside. If the Cubs don’t get him, I could see them resigning Garza to 3/40M deal. If the Cubs do get him, then I think the pace is accelerated. For instance, Dan Voglebach would look really nice in a Rays uniform, as would Viscaino and Edwards. And David Price, Tanaka, Shark would be a nice to core to build a pitching staff around.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Hate to burst your bubble, but a lot of things are iffy with this scenario. First, the Yankees, even after losing Cano, are still an above .500 team, although I do agree with you that the Cubs could win more games over a 7 year period. Next, Matt Garza is signing for a heck of a lot more than 3 for 40 (Think in the area of 5 for 85), and there is zero chance it is with the Cubs. Lastly, the David Price to the Cubs ship has sailed. Even if they were still looking at him, a package of Vogelbach, Edwards, and Vizcaino would be laughed at by the Rays. Think of a package like Baez, Edwards, and Vogelbach and then there might be a deal.

      • Threat Level Midnight

        Not by much, if at all, Tommy. That is an ancient team, with nearly every key player well over thirty and in decline of some sort. Teixeira hasn’t been worth a damn in two years and he’ll be 34. They currently have nobody worthwhile to play 2B. Jeter is 40. They have no 3B. McCann is 30 and hasn’t played a full slate of games for a catcher in two years. Soriano is 38 and not very good at this point in his career. Ellsbury can still be great, but he is no stranger to injury and is also 30 years old. Then you have Old Man Beltran at 37 this year. Even throwing in Brett Gardner (also 30) into the mix doesn’t help matters much.

        Pitching-wise Sabathia just turned in his worst season as a pro, and he’ll be 34 this year, Kuroda is 39, and the rest of the starting staff is meh at best. Add in the loss of Mariano Rivera and the uncertainty at closer (Robertson has been a very good MR, but there’s no telling how he’ll close as he’s never done it before), and this is a team that should have any Yankee fan with a brain reaching for the Tums. To be successful, they will have to defy Father Time in ways rarely ever seen before, and get huge, bounce-back seasons from guys who don’t have age or health (or maybe even skill) on their sides anymore. Even adding Tanaka won’t make much difference. This team probably won’t hit or pitch all that well to seriously contend in the meat-grinder that is the AL East.

        And once you take into account their middle-of-the-pack farm system coupled with a weak offensive free agent market next year, this isn’t a team that’s likely to get better fast in the near future either, even with spending gobs of money. The talent simply won’t be there.

        • Ron Swansons Mustache

          Basically my exact thoughts on the Yankees. I certainly see the appeal of the franchise and the market but when looking at it from a baseball perspective I certainly don’t see the appeal that some of you do. Taking the Cubs out of the equation, if the money is equal the Dodgers have a much brighter future in the next 5 years than the Yankees in my opinion.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          I agree with you that in the future, I don’t think the Yankees will be as good, but this year, the talent level is leaps and bounds ahead of the Cubs. While these guys are up there in age, they all still have some left in the tank. Ellsbury and McCann are nowhere near done at 30. Soriano has put together a couple of very good seasons the last 2 years and Beltran can still hit with the best of them. Teixeira, if his wrist is healthy, is a lock to hit 30 homers in that park. The pitching isn’t great, but in that bandbox of a park, you have to score to win. I don’t think they’ll be much better than a .500 team, but the Yankees should win 80 games with relative ease while the Cubs will probably struggle to win 70 this year.

    • cubzfan23

      Price will not be a Cub… Theo is not going to trade any of the big four. Please get over this notion. So tired of seeing thoughts of Price to the Cubs. Garza will also not be back in a Cub uniform. I got that Theo and Jed don’t like Garza at the price he is seeking.

      • Boogens

        “I got that Theo and Jed don’t like Garza at the price he is seeking.”

        Not only that but I think that Theo & Jed don’t really like Garza at all and were all too happy to trade him. They’d go fishing in another pond before bringing him back.

    • blublud

      Vizcaino, Vogs and Edwards would not be enough to get price. A team could beat the package easily without blinking.

  • cubzfan23

    I also hope the Cubs sign him. I am usually very optimistic, but I don’t see Tanaka coming to Chicago. The main reasons are the competitiveness of the team and the cultural thing that has been said to be important. I do believe the Ricketts have made a very good offer but the aforementioned reasons will keep Tanaka from Wrigley unless his signing team plays Cubs.

  • CubFanBob

    Yankees have spent over $320 million in free agent spending this off season but signing Tanaka gives their players a message that they are in it to win it for 2014 according to some of their fans.

    I cant wait to watch this Yankee team drop like an anchor into the sea of MLB mediocrity.

    • Edwin

      Since the Yankees are still the Yankees, I think they’ll be fine. Eventually, they’ll get something out of their farm system, and in the meantime they’ll spend whatever they need to spend to keep the MLB team close to contention. At this point, I think the Yankees are closer to winning a world series than the Cubs.

  • Patrick W.

    The great thing about this week is that the Cubs, in some fan’s minds, are going to be cheap or stupid. Too cheap to sign him, or stupid to have signed him. I cannot wait.

    • willis

      See, I’m not on that boat. I wrote it below but I’m happy to see the FO find a targer that they truly believe would be a big get for the rebuild and be allowed to go after him with whatever money they seem to think is necessary. Get him or not, I’m feeling much better.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Who’s unhappy? Let the Yankees have him. Cubs will win a World Series before Yankees if Theo plan works.

  • Jon

    It’s been reported that Garza’s act wore thin here….I highly doubt he would be back.

    • willis

      Yep, two names people just need to forget about and stop bringing up: Price and Garza.

    • Jason P

      I don’t know what “his act” even was. People act like he was Carlos Zambrano. Throughout the whole trade process, he was very professional. Before July, it seemed like everyone on the team loved him.

      • mjhurdle

        the whole “Garza attitude/act” thing is always thrown around, but never really backed up.
        I think it is propagated by people that either didn’t like Garza before or were upset when he left, and so they created this narrative to validate their dislike.

  • willis

    This whole thing is shaping up for Cub fans to get their hopes sky high only to be let down and disappointed again. Same story, different year. I’m still convinced there is no chance to land this dude because someone will top the offer in the end and/or he’ll want to be in NY or LA with a chance to win now more than later.

    I will say, if all the reports coming out are true (and why not think so) that regardless of outcome, I’m thrilled to see Ricketts allow Theo and Company to spend freely on what they all believe is the right type of player.

    • Jon

      The problem is this video game/fantasy football mindset that you can tear apart a major league roster, tank it, and there will be no downstream affects.

      We as fans that are “plugged in” know about the the prospects in the chain, and the hopeful future, but free agents often don’t look that deep, they see a team that has lost almost 200+ combined games the past few years, and is on track to lose another 95+.

      So this notion that you can stop “tanking” at any time and be a “player”, well, I don’t knwo about that….

    • jp3

      It’s a catch 22 Willis but I won’t be convinced their letting them spend freely until they win a FA bid. It really is a damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario I guess

      • willis

        Yeah, but I just feel a little better about things because of the alleged offer. They won’t get him, but I don’t think anyone can get pissed at the Cubs throwing $150m or $160m if that is what it is. I don’t know if we’ll ever know the exact figures, but at least there’s action to land, what they think will be, a star for a huge chunk of coin, which is a hell of a lot more than we’ve seen for a long time. Maybe I’m wrong but it has me with a better attitude knowing this.

  • jp3

    I’m still holding out hope however faint. Pointing out the obvious but this wouldn’t have been quite as hard of a sell to him if we weren’t so damn horrible.

    -captain obvious

    • willis

      Yep, and however wrong or right it is, I think players (and hell, lots of people in general) don’t gaze too far into the future. We are a “want it now” world, so I do think in the end he looks at 2014 and 2015 and sees a “meh” roster that has a ton of growing to do, while someone else with close to the same offer but a better “win now” roster will be more attractive.

      Out of all the teams in on him, the Cubs are by far the worst. They have the best farm system, but it’s going to take a hell of a pitch to get him to look there instead of what is on tap for this season and probably next.

    • CubFanBob

      We just need the season to start. I know that Cubs are not in the upper class of MLB yet but they are scratching and crawling one day at a time closer to that level of competitive play.

      Regardless that I say this every year around this time but deep down inside I got a good feeling about the Cubs in 2014.

      • willis

        Don’t do it Bob. Don’t do it!!!!

        I just did it. Dammit. It happens every year.

      • BlameHendry

        how are they getting closer? The prospects are still a long way off, Rizzo and Castro regressed, and Samardzija is most likely leaving at the 2014 trade deadline. They aren’t making any progress, and 2014 will be a repeat of the last 2 seasons. You need to be realistic here.

        • CubFanBob

          Well sorry I am just not going to write off the 2014 Cubs as a 100 lost team nor jump into the Cubs wont win for another three years wagon. One beautiful aspect regarding MLB is the highest payroll teams as well as the teams with the so called “most talent” on paper dont always make the playoffs. I have no doubt this team is going to rebound in 2014 with or without Tanaka. I am not saying they are going to win the division or even make the playoffs but the potential to play .500+ ball is there.

          No one in 84, 89, 98, and ’03 pick the Cubs to make the playoffs. I say f pessimism and negativity . You are either a fan or not and I see no reason to bury the 2014 Chicago Cubs before the first pitch is thrown.

          • Jon

            ” You are either a fan or not and I see no reason to bury the 2014 Chicago Cubs before the first pitch is thrown.”

            This type of crap is really the worst.

  • TanakaWillBeACub

    read this it will prove all you naysayers about the cubs not willing to outbid the Yankees or dodgers!
    http://aeryssports.com/talking-tanaka-why-the-cubs-actually-might-be-attractive-to-him/

    • BlameHendry

      I’m guessing come Wednesday we wont see you posting around here anymore.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    We’ve seen a trend of AL teams having a bidding advantage on slugging talent, knowing the final 2 years of a mega deal include the option of moving the player to DH.

    This made me wonder, is there evidence of pitchers preferring to pitch in the. NL because there won’t be a DH? Well it turns out that question carries a false premise. Would you believe the NL scored more runs than the AL in every year from 1998-2012?:

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/hiruns4.shtml

    • Isaac

      I assume you realize the NL had two more teams than the AL those year?

      • Hee Seop Chode

        Your assumption would be wrong. Thanks for pointing that out

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Thank God this will soon be over.

    • TanakaWillBeACub

      I agree 3 days to go watch the Yankees and dodgers will each try to sneak a last minute offer in only for the cubs to top their offer lol at the last second

  • TommyK

    If I’m Tananka, the Yankees don’t thrill me. Their major league team is hella old, and their minor league system is awful. The only thing they can say for sustained success is that they’ll sign a bunch of free agents to replace their aging players. That seems like at least as big a roll of the dice as the Cubs’ rebuilding effort. I don’t think the Yankees are a sure fire playoff team this season even with Tananka, and the Cubs’ future looks brighter than the Yankees’.

  • itzscott

    I think everyone is over thinking this whole Tanaka thing.

    It won’t be long before his decision will be made public.

    Better to just wait it out at this point and not speculate & drive yourselves crazy.

  • CubFan Paul

    Tanaka being available isn’t a surprise to the Yankees.

    They didn’t sacrifice the last two years just to get reckless and ignore the budget and plan of $189M.

    I’m still liking our chances, because it just makes sense.

    • BenW

      I tend to agree with this thought.

      Also – if I’m correct, if the Yankees are over 189 million, they aren’t able to get revenue sharing. Add that to the repeat tax they have to pay, and Tanaka will be costing them a ton of money. Not that they can’t afford it, but it does seem odd they sat on their hands last year, with an old core of players.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Hmmm. Yankees have said repeatedly this offseason that the luxury tap cap hit will not be a deterrent to improving the ballclub. More selective interpretation by some of you to fit your agenda that the Yankees are out on Tanaka.

      Yeah, the Yankees are going to suck….a lineup of Ellsbury, Jeter, Texiera, McCann, Beltran, Soriano, Gardner is terrible….Sabathia, Kurudo, Nova, Robertston, Phelps are all bums for pitchers too.

      • Seth

        Yeah, say 5 years ago that Yankee lineup would be the best in all of baseball but all of those players, with the exception of Gardner, are on the decline and aging fast. Also, I’d put money on that not being their lineup for 100+ games this year, most of those players have a history of injuries.

      • CubFan Paul

        “Yankees have said repeatedly this offseason that the luxury tap cap hit will not be a deterrent to improving the ballclub”

        EVEN THOUGH IT WAS THE LAST 2 OFFSEASONS (was my point…)

        I’m interpreting actions not words Rain Man.

  • BlameHendry

    A couple commenters on this site are going to have a lot of explaining to do (or a lot of hiding in a hole to do) in just a few days. I know Cubs fans are starved for anything positive but I can’t believe so many people allowed themselves to buy into the false hope and get themselves so optimistic.

    So, after January 24 passes and Tanaka is a Yankee, whats the excuse/explanation from our FO this time? So far they’ve subtely tried to tell us that the lack of spending this offseason was all because they were saving up for going all-out on Tanaka. If they don’t get him, what was the point of it all? I’d rather they have given up on Tanaka months ago and signed Josh Johnson, Phil Hughes, either Joaquin Benoit or Grant Balfour, and then either Choo or Granderson. They probably could have signed that whole handful for just about what it’s gonna cost to land Tanaka.

    Without Tanaka now, attendance will plummet even further, TV ratings will plummet further, merchandise sales will continue to drop, and combined with the 90-100 losses, fan support will be even lower in 2015, making it even harder to convince worthwhile free agents to play here and harder to build up revenue to sign those free agents. It’s a downward spiral and the FO should have been more careful about how far they let this team slide.

    They can’t continue to put all their stock in these young prospects and expect them to carry the whole team on their shoulders. What happens when over half these upcoming prospects don’t reach their projections? Then what? I realize the Cubs have supposed financial restrictions right now but they have the drop the whole penny-pincher thing and realize that just like the Nationals a few years ago, you have to overspend a little bit to kickstart things and spark a turn-around. Once you’re a winning team, it’s easier to convince impact free agents to your team, but first you need to get that winning team, and that rarely happens by in-house prospects alone.

    • TanakaWillBeACub

      read this and everything will be explained so you can quit saying the same crap over and over okay thanks!!
      http://aeryssports.com/talking-tanaka-why-the-cubs-actually-might-be-attractive-to-him/

    • ChicagoJoe

      “signed Josh Johnson, Phil Hughes, either Joaquin Benoit or Grant Balfour, and then either Choo or Granderson”

      I’ll give you credit for offering an alternative. But with that list, you are kind of making the FO point that the money is best spent on Tanaka or nobody this year.

    • Patrick W.

      Yeah, it seems to me to be this: 1 guy says Tanaka will be a Cub, 100% certain. 3 guys (maybe 4) say Tanaka will NOT be a Cub, 100% certain.

      The rest of us just don’t know. Some of us come up with arguments for, some of us against, but really, most of us just don’t know but think it sure would be nice for a lot of reasons.

      • DarthHater

        On these sorts of occasions, it’s always good to remember the Degrees of Knowing:

        [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5525/9459867418_f9291597d0_n.jpg[/img]

    • http://becomehealthier.com drcub1908

      I think plummet is a harsh word. I dont think Cubs attendance will plummet. And so it will take 1 or 2 free agent signings and maybe a trade to spark interest in the team. Looking at short term problems vs. the long term gain.

      Most teams that puts a winner in the field will see attendance spike.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I get the excitement some Cub fans have on the possibility of landing Tanaka. I really do. But holy cow some of you are rationalizing to death and selectively interpreting data points to the extreme.

    In my opinion we clearly know the following.

    1. Yankees, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, White Sox and Cubs all submitted contract proposals

    2. The Tanaka’s have a preference to play in a market with a meaningful Japanese American community

    3. Mrs. Tanaka seems attracted to Los Angeles for professional career development reasons of her own

    4. The Yankees have screaming need for a frontline starting pitcher given that their current rotation mix includes Sabathia, Kurodu, Nova and maybe Pineda – they ARE going to address their rotation folks – they want Tanaka very badly, and what the Yankees really want they invariably get if history is any barometer

    5. It sure seems to me that Tanaka is telegraphing strongly that his decision will come down to more than money. We can dismiss this all we want, but that would be selective interpretation rearing its misguided head.

    ===

    I still say Yankees. The only other team with a shot is the Dodgers, but if he does go to Los Angeles then I bet he ends up taking less money to go there.

    • TanakaWillBeACub

      everyone read this and everything will be explained so you can quit saying the same crap over and over okay thanks!!
      http://aeryssports.com/talking-tanaka-why-the-cubs-actually-might-be-attractive-to-him/

    • baldtaxguy

      I believe most postings of this entire process have trended as they are within this article today – that the Cubs have THE most need for Tanaka, and equal to, or just behind, is the Yankees, with who knows what the Dodgers want as far as number of starters. I think you are reading “hope” as being more than what it is – “hope” – with a few notable exceptions.

      You too have also put your eggs into one basket and ruled out the Cubs entirely from Day 1, which gets you points for consistency and you can “I-told-you-so” all week and beyond if Tanaka picks another club. If you are wrong, and the Cubs get their man, I don’t think it makes you any less credible than you already are with your Rainman-like postings on the topic. Brett provides us with a sound view of the entire process and we don’t really need you to police commenters when their exhuberence is higher than others. We always knew the Yankees and Dodgers were the favorites – we don’t need you to tell us that every 5 minutes. If you want to be a cartoon, go the way of Diehard and at least be entertaining. This is boring.

      • Rmoody100

        +1

    • fortyonenorth

      I’ll give you point one and part of point five, but the rest is Internet speculation.

    • mjhurdle

      pretty sure we don’t “clearly know” anything besides #2 in your list at this point, and that is vague at best because we don’t know how much that preference matters.

    • Jim

      Of your opinion, only #1 is close to the truth.

      #2 & #3 are speculation, neither the Tanakas or the agent have come out and said either.

      #4 – seems the Yankees could have used Darvish a couple seasons but got blown out of the water by the Rangers.

      #5 – again, selective interpretation on your part.

    • noisesquared

      Just purely out of curiosity, do you really think Theo did not have all of these issues in mind when entering this process? I’m guessing by the fact that the Cubs have not been eliminated from the process as we enter the home stretch, that Theo took all of those issues into consideration when making the pitch, and combining that with a boatload of cash is looking very enticing to Tanaka. Hell for all we know the Cubs are a lock and Close is using the Yankees to try and squeeze more out of the Cubs, knowing they’re ‘all in’.

  • Auscub

    Geez o petes!! Enough!! Tanaka will sign wherever HE wants to go. He will be a millionaire many times over, regardless of where that is. He will go wherever he and his family will feel most comfortable. He will go to the right place for HIM professionally. End

  • Diehardthefirst

    A plane traveling 600 mph covers 7000 approximate miles between NYC and Tokyo in 12 hrs which allows time to catch up on REM sleep if Tanaka concerned about distance

    • JB88

      From this comment, it seems to me like you’ve never made that flight between the United States and Tokyo. Flying to Tokyo from Chicago is nearly a 13 hour flight. On the way back you shave about an hour and a half off the flight. So tack on about another 2 hours for a flight to/from Tokyo to NYC.

      • Diehardthefirst

        So you agree the flight is long enough for a good sleep?

        • JB88

          I’ll put it to you this way, I’ve traveled internationally and within the US (including several trips to Hawaii). The only flight I’ve ever taken in which I’ve had jetlag were the flights to and from Tokyo. And that was as a much younger man than Tanaka is currently. It is a hard flight to take if you want to be flying back and forth to Japan often.

          In other words, I don’t think the length of the flight is a benefit for any city in its courtship of Tanaka.

          • Diehardthefirst

            So then he moves to USA and if anyone from Japan wants to see him then they will have to make trip- he can afford their tkt for sure

            • DarthHater

              This is why those Japanese people really should figure out how to build TVs…

  • CubChymyst

    That last bullet sums up all of my fears about the recent set of rumors.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    wow reading the comments this sounds like a remake of groundhog day with bill murray.i don’t think anyone has a clue where tanaka is signing.all the fans can do is hope for the best!!!

    • Diehardthefirst

      I hope he commits to the Yankees before he has a chat with Mark Prior about the pitching coachs towell drills so we can see a fiasco not involving the Cubs

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Yes, because the towel drill was the downfall of Mark Prior’s career…..

      • http://www.ehanauer.com clark addison

        Prior’s pitching coaches are long gone.

        • Patrick W.

          Right. He’s the NY Yankees’ pitching coach now.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            He is, but in all fairness, the towel drill was a Tom House drill, not a Larry Rothschild drill

          • DarthHater

            [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8551/8705395082_71435b7e84_o.jpg[/img]

  • Bull Durham

    This is pretty likely to play out just like Sanchez did last year. Cubs make solid offer, then a better team comes in at the last minute to match and seal the deal. We’re not good enough to get the top level FAs without making crazy offers. Seems like the best plan might be to look for second level FAs who are better than the sign and flip guys of the past, but below the Tier 1 FAs. I’d be looking for players who could help us be competitive right now, but who may not be part of the long term future. That way when our prospects come up we have the ability to get over .500 without overly relying on them to be All-Stars from the start.

    • Jon

      I agree 100% but expect push back from the “Don’t sign any FA’s unless they make you a contender” crowd.

  • hawkboy64

    Well there’s always 2015 :(. If the cubs don’t punt again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cubman87 cubman87

    Well some knucklehead on Twitter is already spreading rumors that the Cubs signed Tanaka lol…but the money figures are off sigh….stupid rumor mill. if you don’t know don’t put it out…
    Gabe white ‏@nflnbainsider 14m
    #Tanaka accepts cubs offer for 8 years 141 million dollars Trying to get confirmation on this stay tuned yankees #dodgers
    Expand Reply Retweet Favorite Mor

    • Jim

      That’s funny, the NFL & NBA insider guy got the jump on the MLB rumor experts.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Holy! Brett great stuff..for not much going on with Cubs off season this is very exciting to see who gets Tanaka. I’m not holding my breath but great reasons why we might actually get him.
    Once again what fun for a winter in Cubs BB!

  • Abe Froman

    Really curious to see some number crunching translating the Yankees matching the rumored 160 (“could exceed”) over 7 years, and what 23 mil per means in dollars to them if it causes them to go over the salary cap.

  • ruby2626

    After Garza went to Texas he was 4 and 5 with a 4.38 ERA in the thick of a pennant race, combine that with his injuries the last couple years and that has to hurt his market value big time.

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